God opens doors, but he also closes doors. Several places in the Bible show God’s authority to open doors. In Revelation 3:8, Jesus says he places before the church in ancient Philadelphia “an open door.” This we need to pray for in our churches!
If God opens a door, no one can shut it. Jesus opens the door for the church in Revelation 3, a door for evangelism — a door to reach out to those outside the church. Even the “synagogue of Satan” can be reached by such an open door. (See Revelation 3:9.) Amazingly, the church in Philadelphia continued to grow over 15 centuries. Ruins of its vast buildings have been found. When Jesus opens a door, no one can put an end to it! Jesus has the “key of David,” meaning the authority of God’s ruling power. His authority has no bounds — he even has the keys of death and hell (Revelation 1:18).
Jesus says that he stands at the door of our hearts and knocks. If any one of us opens the door, he will come in and have deep fellowship with us (Revelation 3:20). He will eat with us, which means he fully accepts and forgives us. What a great promise! So open the door and let the King of Glory come in (Psalm 24:7).
Jesus even goes so far as to say in John 10, “I am the door.” He is the way in, the way to freedom from sin, the way to health and salvation. Come in through him; there is no other door and no other way to safety. Matthew 7 says it is a narrow gate. The way to destruction is a wide gate, and many find it. But come in through Jesus to know the truth that will set you free.
I Corinthians 16:8f says God opened a wide door for Paul to witness for the Messiah in Ephesus. He remained in Ephesus longer than in any other town. The Ephesian church became one of the most powerful in the ancient world — due to God’s open door there.
Acts 5:19 even says that God opens prison doors to set prisoners free. He does it again later on in Acts for Peter. He walked out a free man. God sets people free and opens doors so the good news about Jesus will spread.
Paul had another open door in Troas, but his mind was ill-at-ease because his protégé Titus had not shown up. And in Colossians 4:3, he asks the Colossian Christians for prayer, that God would open a door for His word even in prison, where Paul languished.
In Acts 16:26, Paul and Silas were in prison, in stocks. They were not depressed, however. They sang hymns and the prisoners were listening. God sent an earthquake to open all the doors of the prison. Paul and all the others were free, but they did not flee; they remained, and brought salvation to the jailor and his household.
The last door opened to John in Revelation is in 4:3, a door to heaven, a door so John could enter and receive God’s special revelation. Rarely does a prophet get to glimpse heaven, but John did. He “came to be in the Spirit” and was taken to heaven to see the throne-room of God.
Let us pray that God will open doors for the good news again in America. Our savior has taken away all the sin of the world. We have the best news of all. Open the door, Lord!
Mark Berrier is the minister of Central Christian Church in Sherman. He earned a doctoral degree in divinity from Dallas Christian College. He and his wife of 51 years, Paula, have two children and eight grandchildren.